If you have silver to sell, then you have options. There are many places to sell silver but some places are better than others. We'll tell you how to get the most cash for your silver, and also where to go to sell quickly if you need fast cash.
Know the Value of Your Silver
You need to know the true value of your silver items. You want to accept an offer close to or above the spot value of your silver.
The first step is to verify that your silver is real. You can look for purity hints that show markings such as 925, which is 92.5% silver. But to really know for sure, you need to do a few tests. We review these tests in our silver authenticity test guide.
Once you've verified that your silver is real, then you need to get the total silver value. This is easy for US silver coins- you can just load up our US coin calculator. You just select the coin you have, the number of coins, and the calculator will give you the total silver value.
For scrap silver you can use our scrap silver calculator. This calculator can be used for silver flatware, spoons etc. You just need to enter the weight of your item, select the purity, and then hit calculate. It's as easy as that.
If you know the correct value of your silver then you won't get ripped off. You shouldn't have to trust a buyer to calculate the value for you.
Top Places to Sell
The best place to sell is going to depend on several different factors:
- The type of silver you are selling
- How fast you want to sell
So there isn't one best place. Keep reading to learn about the different options.
This is a decent option for coins and bars, but not for scrap silver. You can get fair offers for coins but remember: the shop has to make a profit. So they won't offer you the retail price.
For scrap silver, the coin shop would act as a middleman. They would most likely take your silver and then send it to a refiner. Therefore it's best to go elsewhere with scrap silver.
Overall the coin shop is only a good option if you want to sell silver coins or bars quickly.
Similar to coin shops, your local area pawn shop buys and sells silver. Typically they will offer you about as much as coin shops although it will depend on the shop. At pawn shops you also have the option to pawn your silver.
Selling silver on eBay is a good option for any type of silver. It's an online auction website so your items will be sold to the highest bidder. You could also set a buy-it-now price. It helps if you already have a seller account with feedback.
Ebay has a good market for silver and you can sell for high prices. In addition there is demand for all types and varieties of silver such as silverware, jewelry, sterling silver, etc.
While there is plenty of upside to using eBay, there are also several downsides:
- It can be time-consuming if you have multiple items to sell
- The eBay selling fees are 10% of the total sale price
- You will typically get paid through PayPal which has poor customer service
- There is a short learning curve if you've never used eBay before
Cash for Gold
You should stay away from these businesses because they are just middlemen. You can get a quick sale but you won't get anywhere close to the true value of your silver.
You can find a local buyer through Craigslist or another similar website. Typically you would get the highest price by going this route. It would be a consumer to consumer deal so you could get close to the retail value of your silver. Compare this with eBay where you are required to pay a 10% seller's fee.
Ideally this is one of the best options for scrap silver. Refineries buy silver and then melt it down to produce new items. However most refiners do not deal with consumers or small orders. At this time we don't have any specific refiners that we can recommend. You would need to do research and find one that would accept your silver items.
Online Bullion Retailer
Any large online bullion retailer like Apmex, JM Bullion, Provident Metals, or SD Bullion will also buy silver. Some dealers like Provident Metals will also allow you to trade your silver for other types of silver or gold. For example you could trade silver eagles for junk silver coins.
Usually these retailers won't offer you great prices, especially for rounds and bars. For older silver coins they could make you a decent offer but it would all depend on the retailer and the specific coin.
If you don't live near a coin shop then this could be an option for you. However we would recommend trying Craigslist or eBay before selling to an online bullion dealer.
General Selling Tips
Selling is selling, and selling silver is no different than selling any other item. In order to get the best deal, you need to know a few negotiating tactics.
The first tactic is to let the potential buyer make the first offer. They might surprise you and offer more dollars expected. If you need to make the first offer yourself then ask for more than what you would accept. This way you are bracketing in a price range.
Another good tactic is to be willing to walk away. This will force the potential buyer to give you their best offer. Remember that there are plenty of buyers out there so if a deal isn't right, then it's perfectly fine to just walk away.
Selling silver is not as easy as buying silver, but it can be a simple process. Once you know the true value of your silver then you can take offers and compare them.
Out of all the different options that we listed, we recommend Craigslist for all silver types and coins shops for coins. These are typically the best selling options.